Lesbian Top and Bottom

By Holly McClain
June 3rd, 2023
Lesbian Top and Bottom

Lesbian Top and Bottom

If you’ve scrolled through Grindr or the queer sections of TikTok, chances are you’ve seen terms like “top,” “bottom,” or “switch” used to describe sexual preferences.

These labels are based on personal preference. However, sexual compatibility is a spectrum and not every pair of tops or bottoms will look the same.


Tops love penetrating their partners and often take the lead in bed. This can be as simple as directing thrusting and rhythm. They may also prefer specific sex acts or dynamics.

Some queer people are more than happy to be both top and bottom. This is known as being a switch. Other people choose to be exclusively top or bottom during a single sexual encounter. This is referred to as versing.

Traditionally, these terms were used by gay men to describe sexual positions and power dynamics in gay leather culture, bondage, and sadomasochism. Now, they are commonly used in the lesbian community to indicate sexual preferences. They are most popular on TikTok, where LGBTQ people have been making videos describing their unique struggles with the term.


Recently, top/bottom/verse discourse has become more prominent on TikTok, with queer people describing their unique struggles and preferences. In the context of dominance and submission (D/s), bottom and top can refer to specific mindsets that people adopt during a sexual encounter or in a relationship.

Often, bottoms are firm about their boundaries on touch and don’t like to be the one doing the penetrating or oral sex. These types are sometimes called stone bottoms or pillow princesses.

There are also many types of “switches”—bottoms who enjoy switching up their role and kink, or are more comfortable with a number of different roles. In a study of gay men, researchers found that versatilities enjoyed better psychological health, possibly because of their higher levels of sexual sensation-seeking and lower internalized homophobia.


If you’ve scrolled through Grindr or the queer sections of TikTok, you may have seen the terms “top,” “bottom” and “switch” in a few profiles. These terms refer to sexual preferences within the queer community and are often used in conjunction with kink, a more fluid form of sexual expression.

Switches—also called vers—are people who like to top and bottom with different partners in one sexual experience. Some switches lean heavier one way or the other (our video buddy considers herself a bottom-leaning switch), but they enjoy both roles and get pleasure from them equally.

It’s important to remember that all sexual dynamics look different, and even if you’re both a top and a bottom, your dynamic can still be completely different than someone else’s. It all depends on the individual and their needs and desires.


In addition to tops and bottoms, people in queer relationships might also be referred to as “versers” or “switches.” These terms describe how someone likes to play sexually with their partner. For example, some lesbians prefer to be the dominant one in a relationship and like to have their partners switch roles in between sessions.

Another common term is “stone bottom,” which refers to someone who only wants to receive pleasure in a relationship. However, even these terms can be a bit misleading.

The truth is that it doesn’t really matter what kind of dynamic a couple has as long as they’re doing it consensually and safely. So, let’s stop lumping together these specific kink and relationship roles and start using more flexible terminology, like “versatile top” or “versatile bottom.” Let’s not force a binary upon ourselves!


Being a top or bottom is one of many ways LGBTQ+ women and non-binary people define themselves in relation to their partners. Lumping these roles together only serves to diminish the highly personal nature of kink relationships and can invalidate those who don’t fit into strict definitions of sex or dominance.

Some people identify as being both a dominant top and submissive bottom, also known as a switch. These people often play with both roles in a scene. They may wear a visual cue like a tattoo or body piercing on either side of their body to signify their preference. Whether you’re a top, a bottom or a switch, treating your sexuality as part of a continuum can help you find pleasure on the level that feels best to you.